American artist duo Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao, known collectively as Chiaozza (a combination of their names), explore play and craft across a range of media, including painted sculpture, installation, collage, photography, design, and public art. “We like to play together, experiment together and use materials as the balls in the game, so to speak,” they told Matter of Hand. “The materials can be paint, paper, brush, string glue – anything we can guide together to make an image.”
According to Chiao, they treat natural and synthetic materials as equal sources of inspiration. “We might agree that the spectrum of natural versus artificial is continuous,” she says. “Nature is really a construction of the human mind in a way, maybe designed as a way to separate ourselves as humans from the natural world. But in reality, we are a part of it. So a lot of the things that we’re attracted to come from the ‘man-made’ or ‘utilitarian’ world versus the ‘natural’ world. So they’re two descriptors that we use but they often flow into each other.”
“If we ever copy nature we generally fail, but if we use it as a starting point it leads to something more unique in the end,” notes Frezza. Play and craft are also important elements in their work. “Play means giving ourselves permission to do whatever we want and craft means the editors in us coming out and mediating the making process,” explains Frezza. “But play and craft are in constant flux in our practice,” he adds.
Founded in 2011 and based in New York City, the two have exhibited their collaborative work in solo exhibitions in New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, in numerous group shows around the US, and in a variety of art and design venues internationally. And with more than 35k fans on Instagram, they’re making quite a splash both offline and online. See for yourself: